Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway

National Scenic BywayMinnesota

Driving the Byway

When traveling the byway from east to west, begin at the junction of MN HWY 25 near Belle Plaine and follow the signs, which take you all the way to the Minnesota/South Dakota state border at West Browns Valley.

From Belle Plaine to Mankato

  • The Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway begins at the junction of State Hwy 25 and Sibley County Hwy 6 just north of the Minnesota River.
  • From there the route goes southwest (12.5 miles) on Sibley Co 6 to the junction with State Hwys 19 and 93 in downtown Henderson.
  • The route continues south on State Hwy 93 where it joins with US Hwy 169 until State Hwy 93 breaks apart from 169 and turns east into the city of Le Sueur (5.5 miles from Henderson to Le Sueur).
  • In Le Sueur State Hwy 93 turns into Le Sueur County Hwy 36 (also called Bridge Street) after crossing the Minnesota River and makes several turns before leaving Le Sueur's southern boundary (right onto 2nd Street one block, right onto Ferry Street one block, left onto South Main Street to the city's southern edge).
  • The route continues south on Le Sueur County 36 to the junction with Le Sueur County 23, just east of Ottawa Village.
  • Turn right (west) onto 23 into Ottawa then south (left) again for almost five miles to the jct of State Hwy 99.
  • Turn right and cross the Minnesota River to the city of St. Peter and the junction of State Hwy 99 and US Hwy 169 (Minnesota Ave).
  • Turn left (south) through downtown St. Peter to the jct with State Hwy 22 and turn left (east) onto State Hwy 22.
  • Cross the Minnesota River again approximately one mile to the junction with Le Sueur County Hwy 21 and turn west (right) into the City of Kasota.
  • Follow County 21 through Kasota south approximately four miles to the county line where Le Sueur County Hwy 21 turns into Blue Earth County Hwy 5.
  • Continue for another 3.5 miles into the City of Mankato to the junction with River Front Drive.
  • Turn right onto River Front and travel seven blocks watching for the sign for the exit onto Veterans Bridge (via Plum Street on the left side of River Front).
  • Cross the Minnesota River on Veterans Bridge and into the City of North Mankato where the bridge enters onto Belgrade Avenue.
  • Continue five blocks and turn left onto Sherman Street.
  • Travel three blocks on Sherman and enter onto southbound US Hwy 169/State Hwy 60 where you cross the Minnesota River once again and head back into the City of Mankato.
  • Travel southwest on Hwy 169/60 2.8 miles to the junction with State Hwy 68.
  • Turn right onto Hwy 68, passing Minneopa State Park and toward the City of New Ulm.
  • At the junction of State Hwy 68 and Brown County Hwy 25 the byway designation stops. A gap was created due to commercial and industrial zoning and because the area was deemed not scenic.
  • Follow the byway signage to continue through New Ulm on State Hwy 68 to the junction with US Hwy 14/State Hwy 15.

From New Ulm to Morton

  • At the junction turn right (northeast) onto US 14/ State Hwy 15 across the Minnesota River approximately one mile to the junction with Nicollet County Hwy 21 where the byway designation begins once again.
  • At Nicollet County Hwy 21, turn left (northwest) and travel 16.5 miles.
  • The highway will cross State Hwy 4 at Fort Ridgely State Park and Nicollet County Hwy 21 turns into Nicollet County Hwy 29 for 2.5 miles to the Nicollet and Renville County lines.
  • At this point, the county road number changes again into Renville County Hwy 5.
  • Follow Renville County 5 for 7.5 miles to the south border of the city of Franklin and the junction with Renville County Hwy 51.
  • Follow Renville County 51 3.5 miles to the junction with State Hwy 19, turn left (northwest) and travel 1.5 miles to the city of Morton.
  • Another gap in designation occurs at this point due to zoning and areas deemed not scenic. Travel through Morton on State Hwy 19 to the junction with US Hwy 71 and turn right (north) for approximately 1/2 mile to the junction with Renville County Hwy 15, a gravel road.

From Morton to Montevideo

  • At this junction turn left (west) and travel almost 18 miles to where Renville County 15 joins Renville County Hwy 12 (a paved hwy) for 1.5 miles.
  • At the "Y" junction of Renville County Hwy 12 and Renville County Hwy 81, turn onto County Hwy 81 (gravel road) and pass the Joseph R Brown Wayside Rest.
  • After traveling on County 810 for about eight miles turn left (south) onto Renville County Hwy 10 for about one mile until you cross the Minnesota River.
  • Drive Yellow Medicine County Hwy 21 for another 1/2 mile to the junction of State Hwy 67.
  • Turn right onto State Hwy 67 for approximately nine miles. As you travel you will pass Upper Sioux Agency State Park and Historic Site and eventually enter into the city of Granite Falls.
  • At the junction of State Hwy 67 and State Hwy 23, turn right onto 67/23 for one block to the junction with US Hwy 212 (stoplights).
  • Turning left onto Hwy 212 at the stoplights you will travel northwest along the Minnesota River 14 miles to the City of Montevideo.
  • A gap in designation occurs through this area due to non-scenic areas and commercial and industrial development.

From Montevideo to Ortonville

  • Follow the signs at the jct of US Hwy 212 and State Hwy 59 (stoplights). Go straight at the stoplights along State Hwy 59 for one block where you can turn left to continue on State Hwy 59/7.
  • Travel for 7.5 miles to the junction with Chippewa County Hwy 13 north of the city of Watson.
  • Turn left onto County 13 and you will travel 2.75 miles and cross the Minnesota River at Lac qui Parle Dam and Recreation Area and into Lac qui Parle County where the road number changes from Chippewa County 13 to Lac qui Parle 33.
  • Following 8 miles along County 33 you will pass Lac qui Parle State Park, Refuge, and Wildlife Management Area.
  • At the junction of County 33 and State Hwy 40 turn left onto State Hwy 40 for about four miles to the junction with State Hwy 119.
  • Turn right onto Hwy 119 and travel north five miles to Lac qui Parle County Hwy 34 where you turn left toward the town of Louisburg.
  • Travel five miles west on Hwy 34 to the junction with Lac qui Parle County Hwy 19 south of Louisburg and turn right (north) onto Hwy 19 and to the city limits where another gap occurs due to non-scenic development areas.
  • Signs direct the traveler easily through this small town on Hwy 19 to the junction with Lac qui Parle County Hwy 38 where you will turn left (west) and travel seven miles to the junction of US Hwy 75.
  • Turning right onto Hwy 75 you will travel about 13 miles toward the city of Ortonville and you will pass the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.
  • At the Ortonville city limits another gap in designation occurs.
  • Turn left at the junction of US Hwy 75 and State Hwy 7. Hwy 7 pulls the traveler through downtown Ortonville.
  • Travel along Big Stone Lake northwest of the city about 24 miles past Big Stone Lake State Park and Bonanza Environmental Learning Center to the city of Beardsley. In Beardsley, a gap occurs within city limits.
  • Continue to follow State Hwy 7/28 almost 10 miles toward the city of Browns Valley. Another gap occurs in Browns Valley but the route extends on the west side of Browns Valley for a half mile to the South Dakota border where a wayside rest includes byway information. The byway designation ends at the state border.